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Janeczko, Paul B.: Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War.

3Q * 3P * M * J

Janeczko, Paul B. Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War. Candlewick, 2017. 256p. $16.99. 978-0-7636-6042-0. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes.

This book examines deceptive techniques used in warfare from ancient times to the late twentieth century. It begins by defining types of deception and the goals of each. Then it delves into the historical record, looking at deceptive techniques used in the Old Testament and The Iliad. The narrative then touches briefly on other misleading devices used in the American Civil War, until finding the main focus of the book: the twentieth century. By far, the largest part of the narrative is how deceptive ploys became highly organized in World War II, with a detailed explanation of Operation Bodyguard, a tactic meant to deceive the Germans about the D-Day landings (June 6, 1944). The narrative concludes by briefly examining the deceptive operations employed in the Korean, Vietnam, and First Gulf wars. Numerous pictures, maps, and illustrations are included, as well as side bars discussing diverse matters such as Morse code and the method by which operations are named.

This engaging, well-written text flows smoothly with good transitions among ideas. The side bars present an abundance of information that is both informative and captivating. There are a couple issues with this book, however. One issue is the occasional factual error, such as when the M4 Sherman is described as a "heavy tank" (it was a medium tank). A more serious flaw is that the narrative does not provide a proper conclusion, simply ending with the first Gulf War. In spite of these concerns, this is a dependable, interesting title that would be a useful addition for middle school libraries, or for high school libraries with large populations of low-level or struggling readers.--Jonathan Ryder.

Double Cross covers the definition and application of deceptive tactics over time, using both fictional and nonfictional examples to illustrate strategies used in battles. Janeczko's style is informative, yet accessible, and he brings the art of war to life by stating the facts in a tasteful, well-researched manner. This book is recommended for middle school readers who are curious about the inner workings of war and want to learn about how battle strategies have evolved throughout the ages. 4Q, 3P.--Elizabeth Sullivan, Teen Reviewer.


5Q Hard to imagine it being better written.

4Q Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses.

3Q Readable, without serious defects.

2Q Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q.

1Q Hard to understand how it got published, except in relation to its P rating (and not even then sometimes).


5P Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday.

4P Broad general or genre YA appeal.

3P Will appeal with pushing.

2P For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject.

1P No YA will read unless forced to for assignments.


M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).

J Junior High (defined as grades 7-9).

S Senior High (defined as grades 10-12).

A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for YAs.

NA New Adult (defined as college-age).

R Reluctant readers (defined as particularly suited for reluctant readers).

(a) Highlighted Reviews Graphic Novel Format

(G) Graphic Novel Format
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Author:Ryder, Jonathan; Sullivan, Elizabeth
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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